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New Zealand Holidays


New Zealand Holidays

New Zealand Holidays

In New Zealand, national holidays have special inference for employment and commercial trading schedules. For the purpose of employment, as provided by today’s legislation, employees who work on a national holiday must be given the same time off on a different day, and be compensated for a day and a half. Holidays exchanged for money is not allowed. Although stores may be open on most national holidays, there are special restrictions for trading on Easter Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas Day and before one in the afternoon on ANZAC Day. Garden centers, in recent years, have been deliberately violating these trade restrictions on Good Friday.


Before an act of legislation, garden centers were exempted form special holiday restrictions.
In cities where tourism is main revenue source such as the South Island’s Queenstown, some special consideration is given by the council’s district for certain shops to open during Easter Sunday and Good Friday.

The rationale behind this is to ensure up the level of service given to tourists, as several would not be aware that shops will be inaccessible during those public holidays.


Nevertheless, the sale of liquor sale is controlled in a number of those national holidays. This is not really a big problem since most shops are closed on those days.

In New Zealand, there are two kinds of public holidays. They are Statutory Holidays (mandated by law) and Provincial Anniversary Days (days that commemorate the birth of a province or an event of early settlement).


All these holidays are made into law by numerous Acts of Parliament, in particular the 2003 Holidays Act.

ANZAC and Waitangi Day are always celebrated on the exact date since they commemorate specific events in history. Except for Good Friday, other Statutory Holidays in New Zealand have been Monday.

For instance, if January 1 or December 25 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the Monday after that is the Statutory Holiday for New Year's Day or Christmas Day. If January 2 or December 26 falls on a Saturday, then Boxing Day or the Day after New Year's Day is observed on the following Monday. If either of these days falls on a Sunday, then the following Tuesday would be the holiday since the Monday will have been celebrated for Christmas or New Year.
This rather confusing situation has been further complicated by the most updated version of the Holidays Act. In this Act, a holiday is only Monday-ised if the employee does not go to work on weekends.

Holidays in New Zealand

For instance, an employee who works from Monday to Friday would receive the Statutory Holidays on the following Monday (at times, Tuesday for those days that fall on a Sunday). But employees who usually work on Saturdays would not receive the holiday on Monday since they didn’t have work on that particular Saturday.


In addition to this, the 1981 Holidays Act specifies each region observing a Provincial Anniversary Day to observe the landing days or founding days of the pioneer colonists of the different provincial colonies.



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